A new network of over 72 organizations from 12 countries was activated during a convening in Amsterdam on September 26-27, 2022. Representatives are aligned around the transdisciplinary field and social movement of Planetary Health, which analyzes and addresses the impacts of human disruptions to natural systems on human health and all life on Earth. The Planetary Health European Hub consists of organizations from sectors including universities, healthcare, youth, business, civil society, and more.
Co-organized by the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) and the EEAC Network, the new hub was conceived to focus on the policy, funding, and organizational landscapes that make Europe rich in opportunities for building transformational change.
“From the European Green Deal, the Health Environment Research Agenda for Europe, to the upcoming Horizon Health 2023 Agenda, now is the time to connect the dots, build collaborations, make links within the policy community, and fund Planetary Health priorities at scale,” said Sam Myers, Director of the Planetary Health Alliance and Principle Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Members of the European Hub, came together in person and online and agreed on the Hub’s principles, developed working groups to tend to plans in research, education, policy, and movement building, shared lessons learned, built relationships, and set the framework for sustaining the Hub into the future. Read More
How can science help to gear up the sustainability transition? How can we make sure policymakers have science-based advice available to them? Discussions at the 30th EEAC Annual Conference brought forward the importance of dialogue and cooperation in this critical decade of sustainability action. Time to move away from just talking the talk, and instead, walk the walk.
The Finnish scientific advisory councils – the Climate Change Panel, the Nature Panel and the Expert Panel for Sustainable Development – organised the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils’ Network‘s (EEAC) 30th anniversary conference from 14th to 15th September in Helsinki and online. The conference brought together European experts to discuss how to advance the sustainability transition in Europe. The two-day conference gathered 130 international experts together in autumnal Helsinki and 200 people across Europe followed the discussions online.
The theme of the conference was the Critical Decade of Action. Experts from universities, research institutes, governments and the civil service deliberated on how to advance direct discussions between scientists and policymakers to push for a systemic and fair sustainability transition.
By learning from each other and discussing together, we can bridge the gap between science and policy. Keynotes and panel discussions highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral cooperation. Decision makers were presented with a plea from scientists – implementation is needed, instead of just inspired targets and speeches. We need explicit action to pave the way for reaching our climate, biodiversity and sustainability targets, both short and long-term.
In most discussions, the conclusion was that the alarming effects of climate change and the loss of biodiversity show an imminent need for a truly systemic change. The fairness of the sustainability transition must be guaranteed – giving people a say in the process is needed. At the EEAC conference we heard from for example high school students and how they are concerned for their future. In workshops we looked at how can young people be better involved in decision making processes. This kind of action and involvement is what we need in this critical decade.
Recordings of the keynote presentations are available HERE
In 2020, the Germany Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) recommended aligning Germany’s climate targets with a CO2 budget. This budget was transparently derived from the targets of the Paris climate agreement. The analysis was widely received in Germany and also an important scientific basis of Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court’s historic decision on climate policy in 2021.
In June 2022, the SRU has updated the CO2 budget calculations and addressed a number of questions that came up in public discussion in an accessible Q&A format. This paper has now been published in English language.
Our latest figures show that Germany’s remaining fair CO2 budget for a 1.5°C path expires in 2031 and that for 1.75°C in 2040 (assuming linear reduction). According to our calculation, the current German Climate Change Act corresponds to a pathway which limits global warming to less than 2°C, but significantly more than 1.5°C. Read More
A group of representatives from various advisory councils met for the second time to discuss the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Council representatives took stock of the ongoing negotiations and discussed the need for integration of biodiversity policies in all spaces and domains, as well as the need for a realistic, just and result driven approach by the EU and its Member States ahead of the CBD. Insights and views shared by council representatives are to be used as input for an EEAC document that will be sent in the context of the finalization of the CDB COP15 negotiations in Montreal in December 2022.
As with the first edition, also this time the EEAC Network contributed to the preperations of IEEP’s EU Green Deal Barometer report. The new report reveals the scepticism of sustainability experts regarding the implementation status of the European Green Deal in the short term, but some cautious optimism post-2024. Based on insights from over 300 experts, the Green Deal Barometer provides recommendations for taking forward the implementation in the current crisis. Read More (you will be re-directed to the IEEP website).
This year, the EEAC Annual Conference entitled: ‘The Critical Decade of Action: Mobilising Sustainability Transformation in Europe’ took place in Helsinki on September 14th and 15th 2022.
The conference was hosted by Finland’s three independent science panels, the Finnish Expert Panel for Sustainable Development, the Finnish Climate Change Panel and the Finnish Nature Panel.
The two-day conference brought together experts from academia, civil society, the private sector and government to discuss the next steps for facilitating the much-needed transformation in the critical decade of action. We heared interesting keynote speeches and engaged in workshops and parallel sessions, including on the following themes:
- Joining forces for sustainability transformation
- Europe’s global responsibility in combating climate change
- Mid-term policy actions needed against the biodiversity crisis
Representatives from the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia, the Environment and Nature Council of Flanders, the Finnish Expert Panel for Sustainable Development, the German Advisory Council on the Environment and the German Advisory Council on Global Change e-met on September 12th 2022 for a collegial exchange on the topic of Planetary Health and adjacent concepts. They informed each other about their ongoing work and discussed, among others, the relationship between the concept of Planetary Health and sustainable development, and the challenge of mainstreaming the concept of Planetary Health in policymaking. Colleagues further discussed possible synergies in their work and discussed possible next steps in exchanges among councils and between councils and external experts.
SDG advisory bodies from more than 20 countries gathered in Cape Town, South Africa, in the context of the Global Forum Network Meeting 2022. The Global Forum is a network of multi-stakeholder bodies that accelerates SDG delivery through sharing experiences and jointly visioning forward across national perspectives. The EEAC Network is an active member of the Forum and was represented by the Co-Chair of the EEAC Working Group on Sustainable Development, Gábor Bartus and the Network Coordinator, Michiel de Vries.
On day one Global Forum members compiled the individual accomplishments, lessons learnt from pilot projects as well as reflected on their respective working contexts with a view to identifying common priorities and focus areas.
On day two, the Global Forum started forming Communities of Practice (CoP) for 2022/23. Based on the discussions of the most urgent topics and existing barriers and hurdles, as well as the joint identification of entry-points for the work for national SDG advisory bodies, the Global Forum members took forward a process of forming and planning of the communities of practice.
On day three, a public event explored South Africa’s journey towards implementing the 2030 Agenda. The topic of the political panel was the country’s journey towards implementing the 2030 Agenda, particularly in terms of how South Africa has integrated the SDGs into national policy processes. Speakers discussed the role of various stakeholders contributing to the transformation of key development sectors.
During the Network Meeting a joint call to action was discussed. Following the meeting the German Advisory Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) drafted a meeting report, and finalized the call to action. In the call to action representatives of advisory bodies that are part of the Global Forum, called for all governments and national stakeholder groups to support the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’s proposals in “Our Common Agenda”. They also called on all respective national governments and other stakeholders to take bold action, by taking concrete steps at both national and local level and bridging them with international tools and mechanisms. Read More